(This post makes less sense now that I have a new header. But, you’ll get the idea of the kind of town we live in.)
That’s our town at the top of this page — Chatham, Virginia. If you look closely you can see Chatham Books, our local bookshop. Our weekly newspaper, The Star Tribune is down the block. M&W Florist is in between. The space with the striped awnings is where we host Soundcheck, our monthly open mic night for teens. Chatham is a charming town of 1300, and the county seat for Pittsylvania County — the largest land-area county in the commonwealth of Virginia. As the county seat, we are home to the courts, county jail and sheriff’s department, a lot of lawyers’ offices, and most of the county government departments.
Chatham has the unique distinction of having two private preparatory boarding schools — Chatham Hall, an Episcopal girls’ school, and Hargrave Military Academy, a Baptist military academy for boys. These schools bring outstanding events and personalities to Chatham, and the faculty members enrich our community with their involvement. Chatham Hall enrolled about 160 young women this year, and Hargrave Military Academy admitted about 360 young men. The impact these schools make by providing resources, facilities, and enrichment programs to our community is tremendous. Without them the town wouldn’t have the same charm and character it exudes.
That’s the ministry context I’m working in here in Chatham. I’ll share more of that with you later as we talk about specific things we’re doing to engage our community. Let me hear from you about your context and how your church is engaging your culture.